I have a Magic Wand.
With my magic wand I can harness the awesome power of my eternal Dad-itude and conjure up that which was thought impossible by mere mortals. I can hypnotize the masses with nourishing potions of light and love. I can summon the spirits on medium-high to regale you with tales from the cauldrons of yore. I can convene the Earth’s bounties, command them to chorus and make the heavens shout “Damn, that’s good”.
And, folks, I can get my kids to eat any vegetables you’ve got.
What is this mighty scepter, you ask? How did a goof such as I come to wield its awesome power, you beseech? Patience, little lamb, for secrets such as these are held close and many have died in their quest.
Plus, if I make you wait for the answer you might even read the rest of this ridiculous post.
Our tale begins in a simpler time, a time when Holly and I had no kids and the dog had a great life. It was a time of idealism and wonder. It was a time full of grand expectations and a perfect future.
I like to call it the Epoch of Theoretical Parenthood.
This long forgotten age was when Holly and I swore we would never have a family bed and our angelic future children would eat whatever we gave them because, well, that was what was being offered.
I’ll wait for the people with children to stop laughing before I continue.
(For you well-rested folks without kids, the hilarity here lies in our naivety and arrogance in thinking we had figured something out that BILLIONS of people before us had somehow missed.)
Now, then. When our first bundle of joy and guru of humility, Bug, began to eat real food we had some moderate success introducing a vegetable-laden diet. She accepted relatively readily a wide variety of foods – until she got old enough to eat meat. At that point her canine teeth started to resemble those of the aforementioned canine herself and, to be honest, that scared us. The terror she inspired coupled with my seriously limited skill-set in the kitchen led to Holly and me capitulating. So, Bug for a time was quite carnivorous.
Let’s jump forward a bit here (largely because I don’t really remember much of the interim) to when our second, Lemon, was moving on from her liquid diet. At this point Holly and I had somewhat regained our senses (I think I hear the parents in the audience laughing again) and I had learned enough in the kitchen to think I could regularly serve a vegetarian menu. Reality was that I could SERVE whatever the hell I wanted – getting Bug and Lemon to actually eat said menu was another story.
Over time I learned more, tried much and the dog ate well, be it from the floor or the proverbial scrap heap. The girls, however, were not so easy to please. I roasted, steamed, sautéed, boiled and broiled and was met with contempt and disdain.
Then, the light….
While making a soup one day that was destined to be cast aside (or on to the floor), I stumbled upon that which would change our lives forever, rocket my culinary cache with my daughters skyward and birth quite possibly the silliest post I have written yet.
My Magic Wand.
It was a simple soup, if I recall, but loaded with nutritious vegetables the likes of which my steely daughters would normally have disregarded like so many a Lego on the living room floor. I boldly unsheathed my Wand, tethered it to the source of its power and submerged it deep within the wholesome potage.
When the last drop of soup was gone and the cheering subsided, it was clear that no vegetable would be safe in our house from this day forward.
“For God sakes, man, what is this Magic Wand?”
Well, my antsy reader, it is my immersion blender. With this little tool I can blend up a whole pot of soup in just a couple of minutes into a bisque-like consistency. While a regular blender or food processor could essentially do the same job, I don’t know any that have the capacity to handle a whole pot at once and certainly don’t know anyone who really wants to clean multiple vessels. Immersion blenders are cheap (got mine for $20), easy to clean and will trick your kids into eating anything the Earth has to offer.
Since that fateful day I have made countless soups with countless combinations of previously unacceptable vegetables (that would be a great band name, btw – Jared?) and blended them beyond recognition with my trusty immersion blender. I have yet to find a vegetable from the leafy greens to the starchy tubers that does not please the discerning palates of my two tiny critics once blended. Here is one of the more recent incarnations, which was once again met with rave reviews – written in crayon, of course.
Thanks for reading and enjoy.